Diane Horrigan's Blog
The right home security system can make a profound difference for your peace of mind and make your home an unappealing target -- but do you have to go with a conventional (and expensive) alarm service? In the past, homeowners had few choices, but now, if you own a home and like to DIY you have more options than ever before when it comes to home security. Is a DIY home security system right for you -- or are you better off with the traditional model? Consider these factors as you determine the best way to protect your home.
DIY vs. Conventional Alarm Services
While the installation and monitoring may differ, both DIY and conventional systems share some factors; both offer wireless connections and monitoring points, both improve the overall security of your home and both can be installed in a day or less. The differences lie in the overall cost, commitment and approach to monitoring.
A DIY Alarm Service is Right for You If:
You are handy: If you can do basic home repairs and set up your DVD player or smart-home technology, you have the skills needed to install a DIY alarm system. Alarms used to be very complex and require electrical knowledge. Today's systems are fast and easy to install with the tools you probably have on hand.
You're wary of contracts: One of the primary consumer complaints about alarm companies in general involves not service, but contracts. Being locked in for a long period of time takes away some of your flexibility. If you move and you have a monitoring contract, you either have to pay to have your system relocated or continue paying for a service you no longer use. Since DIY systems don't require equipment rental or contracts, they are more flexible and forgiving.
You're on a budget: When you work with a DIY brand, you can buy just what you need, and you'll spend less on equipment and installation. A national brand will charge you for equipment, installation and even ongoing protection fees, making them a more expensive option.
Since the actual monthly service is very similar, most families benefit from opting for DIY systems. There are a few exceptions. If you have a very large home with many entry points, are unable to do the work needed to install the system or you need more monitoring features, then a traditional system might work. Seniors with limited mobility may have more needs than a growing family or a single individual, and may prefer the all-in-one service offered by a conventional brand. Anyone else can benefit from the low costs and convenience of DIY security systems.
Reviewing your options allows you to choose the best possible alarm service for your home and family -- and the one that has the perfect balance of cost, commitment and coverage to protect your home.
If you’re a first-time homebuyer you might be worried or anxious about the process of making an offer on a home. After all, negotiating isn’t something most of us look forward to on a day to day basis and we try to avoid it when possible. When it comes to buying a home, however, negotiating is usually part of the process.
One of the benefits of working with a real estate agent is that they have the knowledge and expertise to help you out through the negotiation process. Not only will they help you formulate your offer, but they’ll also present the offer for you and handle the in-person negotiations.
Buyer’s vs seller’s market
Whether or not the odds are in your favor depends on many things. One important factor is the state of the real estate marketing. In a seller’s market, which is what we’re in right now, there are more buyers looking for homes than there are sellers trying to sell them.
However, you can still edge past the competition in a seller’s market if you plan accordingly. This is when negotiation comes into play, and when effective negotiation can get your offer accepted where others are declined.
Time is of the essence
When you’re shopping for a home in a seller’s market, you’ll need to be swift with your offer and counteroffers to stay ahead of other prospective buyers. However, being too hasty with your offers can seem imposing or reckless. It’s better to take a day longer to come up with a more effective offer than it is to make an offer that looks bad to the seller.
Be clear and concise
Just as you’re nervous making offers on a home, sellers are usually nervous fielding them. So, if you want to make things easier for you and your seller, make sure your offer is simple and straightforward.
This involves removing unnecessary contingencies and sticking to the contract basics--inspection, appraisal, and financing. If the seller receives another offer that is riddled with contingencies, they might prefer to work with you since you presented them with a simple contract.
Having your paperwork in order, getting preapproved, and making yourself available as much as possible will go a long way in the negotiation process. Now more than ever it’s important to be well-organized.
Do your homework on the house and neighborhood you’re interested in. Make sure you know if there is a lot of interest in the area and the house in particular. This will let you know how much breathing room you have.
Getting preapproved will not only help you know the limits you can offer but it will also signal to the seller that you’re a serious buyer.
If you've conducted an in-depth search for your dream house but still have yet to find your ideal residence, there is no need to worry. In fact, you can revisit your homebuying strategy and revise it as needed. This will allow you to restart your house search and increase the likelihood that you'll discover your dream home sooner rather than later.
Ultimately, there are many reasons to revisit your homebuying strategy, and these include:
1. You can consider why you're searching for a house.
There are many reasons why an individual may choose to buy a home. By revisiting your homebuying strategy, you can think about why you want to purchase a house and proceed accordingly.
For example, if your initial goal was to buy a home near the top schools in a particular city or town, you may want to refocus your house search to achieve the optimal results. Or, if you now find that you'd prefer to own a house in a big city instead of a small town, you can update your house search.
2. You can evaluate your home must-haves and wants.
After attending open house events and home showings, your homebuying criteria may have changed. As such, now may be a good time to revisit your homebuying strategy so you can update these criteria.
Think about things you've liked and disliked as you've viewed various available houses. You can use your open house and home showing experiences to revamp your home must-haves and wants, and as a result, reenter the housing market with a fresh perspective.
3. You can review where you want to live.
As you've searched for homes, you may have found that houses in certain cities and towns are more appealing than other residences. Thus, you can revise your homebuying strategy to focus on residences in your preferred cities and towns. This will help you accelerate your house search and ensure you can find a home in a city or town where you want to live.
Of course, conducting a home search on your own often can be difficult. But if you hire a real estate agent, you can receive plenty of support throughout the homebuying journey.
A real estate agent understands exactly what it takes to find a great residence in any city or town. He or she can help you revamp your homebuying strategy and streamline your house search.
In addition, a real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you up to date about new houses that become available and help you navigate the homebuying cycle. Once you find your dream house, a real estate agent will make it easy to submit a competitive offer to purchase this residence. And if you ever have concerns or questions about purchasing a home, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.
Revisit your homebuying strategy today, and you could move one step closer to finding and purchasing your ideal residence.
Are you unsure of how to price your home before putting it up for sale? Do not forget that the value of your home depends majorly on its appearance and amenities. Therefore, you can improve the look of your home by carrying out thorough cleaning, sprucing up the lawn, getting rid of things that take up space unnecessarily, and many other simple things. Here are some ways to ensure your home spends as little time as possible on the market:
Price your home competitively
When you choose to sell your home, one of the most important decisions is to set the appropriate price for your home. Be careful when setting a price because when the price is too high, buyers get turned off and when it is too low, you may probably sell at a loss. So, one robust and powerful method for pricing your home is to look at the prices of other homes that are in the same category as yours. When you do this, you will have a better understanding of the most appropriate listing price range to consider.
Make use of strategic price points
You should know that homebuyers tend to go for homes that have price ranges separated by an increment of five to ten thousand dollars. It is therefore essential to set your price close to these natural price points. For example, when you set the value of your home at $229,900, you will get the same number of buyer inquiries as a price of $227,900. The logic is that you would widen your prospective buyer pool if you set the cost of your home at the next lower price point which is $224, 900.
Consider value-range marketing
Value-range marketing is another result-oriented pricing strategy to consider. It involves selecting a listing price based on what you would sell for today provided a buyer gave you a check. Then, you should set a second amount that is lower, that you wouldn't reject if a buyer decides to buy your property at that price. Therefore, you can consider listing your home as "$386,000 or best offer" instead of just listing at a fixed amount of $386,000.
Hire an experienced listing agent
Hiring an experienced listing agent is an excellent idea, but you should go for an agent that is familiar with your local market and is aware of the values of homes that are similar to yours. When a listing agent has this knowledge, they will know the exact amount of your home based on your local market.
Apart from the door to your home, one door that continually opens and closes is the access to your refrigerator. The kids open it, your friends open it, everyone always wants something from the fridge. The refrigerator is one of the most useful appliances in the kitchen. It helps in preserving both raw and cooked food, storing drinks and condiments. Its functions make it essential for it to be clean to reduce the risk of food poisoning. Apart from health reasons, dirt most times makes household appliances get old and faulty.
Disinfecting Your Refrigerator Safely
Take out Everything
- Unplug the refrigerator
- Take out Everything
- Take out any removable parts of the fridge such as shelves, drawers, and bins.
- Dispose of fruits, vegetable, food or drink that are moldy or expired.
- Dispose of meats that have unpleasant smell or freezer burn
Wash the freezer thoroughly
- Soak parts in a basin of warm water with your regularly dish-washing soap for some minutes.
- Scrub the parts clean with a sponge.
- Dry up parts properly with a clean cloth before putting them back into the refrigerator in case of excess water.
- Scrub off the stains from the walls of refrigerator and freezer.
- For tough stains, apply a bit of baking soda with some water to produce a mixture of a thick paste. Then use it on the stain and allow to sit in for an hour before wiping it out with damp cloth or sponge.
Don't Forget the Outside
Use a multipurpose spray and microfiber cloth to wipe the handles and the outer surface of the refrigerator. If the outer surface of your fridge is stainless, it's best you use a stainless-steel polish rather than a multipurpose spray to prevent smudges.
Put your food items back in
Put back food into the refrigerator and clean jars or bottles before putting them in. Double-check the expiration date on any item before keeping them back.
Disinfecting your refrigerator doesn't look hard, after all, you can do this in less than 20 minutes. It is crucial and hygienic to do a complete clean-up at least once a month to prevent stale and unpleasant odor. Out of your busy day to day schedule, it's necessary you create a monthly time table for disinfecting your refrigerator and make sure you stick to it. Stay clean, stay healthy and always remember health is wealth.